China economy seen growing 6.6% in Q4: Government think-tank

People walking at the Bund overlooking the financial district of Pudong in Shanghai.
People walking at the Bund overlooking the financial district of Pudong in Shanghai.PHOTO: AFP

SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - China's economy is expected to grow at an annual 6.6 per cent in the fourth quarter and post overall growth of 6.7 per cent for the full year, the China Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) said.

The predictions by CASS, a top think-tank that advises the government, were published by the official Shanghai Securities Journal newspaper on Wednesday (Sept 28) and were line with the government's own full-year forecasts of 6.5-7 per cent growth.

"Economic growth in the fourth quarter is likely to fall slightly but within a normal and stable range," the newspaper quoted CASS  senior researcher Wang Hongju as saying.

"We should, as long as there's stable local demand, continue supply-side reform, strengthen the sustainability of economic development, and resolve hidden risks in the economy to keep the economy going at a reasonable pace," he said.

China announced a target range for GDP growth for the first time this year, indicating that the country is on track for its slowest growth since 2009.

CASS said fourth-quarter growth would be affected by the government-directed cleanup of excess capacity and debt, while traditionally strong growth drivers such as infrastructure, property and private investment faced downward pressure.

The consumer price index (CPI) was seen likely to rise 2.1 per cent for the fourth quarter and about 2 per cent for the full year. China posted year-on-year CPI growth of 1.3 per cent in August.